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Spicing up the Langley food scene

Langley's Well Seasoned gourmet food store and cooking school will mark its fourth anniversary with a B.C. food festival featuring a wide array of delicious locally-made foods from some of the province's best food producers and manufacturers.

As part of the event, local chocolate company DC Duby Wild Sweets will be unveiling its latest sensation, a chocolate drink called Hot Ganache. DC Duby chefs Dominique and Cindy Duby will also be available to sign copies of their new cookbook, Wild Sweets Chocolates.

In addition, local food columnist and culinary instructor, Chef Dez, will take part in the festivities and sign copies of his latest cookbook, Chef Dez on Cooking.

A wide variety of delicious food samples will be available from local food companies like Artisan Edibles, Maison Cote, House of Q, Sisters Secret, Aji, the Glen Valley Artichoke Farm and Vij's Restaurant.

The free culinary celebration runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 24, at Well Seasoned, 20771 Langley Bypass.

Well Seasoned's owner-manager Angie Quaale has been active in the food and hospitality industry for her entire career. Her experience working in hotels and fine dining led her to a career in commercial food sales specializing in menu development and retail food distribution.

Living in the Fraser Valley, Quaale realized there was a need for a local gourmet shop to provide home chefs like herself with the products they crave.

With the assistance of her husband Dennis, Quaale saw Well Seasoned became a reality in 2004. Since then, the store has become an essential food lovers' destination.

In fact, the business drew attention almost from the start, and Quaale was the recipient of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence, Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2006.

The store is stocked with the finest local food products and speciality items from all over the world and is the only culinary outlet of its kind in the Fraser Valley.

Quaale has sourced countless gourmet essentials including more than 20 varieties of salt, 50 imported olive oils and vinegars, a large selection of BBQ sauces, chocolate, cocoa, vanilla beans, rare spices, plus cookware, cooking tools, gourmet gift baskets, books and accessories.

The store carries thousands of products from around the world and most importantly from right here in our backyard. Quaale loves to seek out new items for the store, work with small-scale local food producers and learn more about cooking, food and wine.

The school features nightly cooking classes and regular appearances by international celebrity chefs.

Quaale has designed the Well Seasoned cooking school to bring chefs and wine experts to the Fraser Valley to teach about new ingredients, new techniques and new flavours. The kitchen is cosy and the class sizes are limited so that all students get the most out of each experience.

Each week the school offers different classes featuring guest chefs from some of the finest restaurants and catering companies in Metro Vancouver.

In addition to running the store and cooking school, Quaale is also at the helm of B.C.'s premiere barbecue event called the BBQ on the Bypass. This year's event is expected to not only attract the very best competitive BBQ teams and hundreds of BBQ enthusiasts, but also be the site of the first-ever B.C. BBQ Championship.

The winner will be qualified to enter the highly acclaimed 2009 Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Tennessee. The 2008 BBQ on the Bypass will be held on Sunday, Sept. 7.

In November, Quaale will launch an event called the Edibles and Arts Experience which will be the Valley's only Christmas market combining fine local artisan food with art.

Quaale and Well Seasoned have been featured in numerous publications and broadcast programs including daily newspapers in Vancouver, on CityTV's CityCooks, CBC TV's Living Vancouver, Shaw TV's the Express, and The Buzz 1410. Quaale was also a regular guest on CFUN's Morning Show.

In 2006, she was the recipient of the Langley Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Entrepreneur of the Year Award. She is currently a board member of the Vancouver chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier, an international organization comprised of the most acclaimed women in the culinary world.

While Quaale's legacy in the local culinary scene has only just begun, in four short years she has developed her passion for great food into a thriving culinary business.

Changing the way people in the Fraser Valley eat is her overriding goal. She wants to discourage people from eating fast food in the back of the mini-van, and tries to provide her customers with the culinary inspiration and the tools to get the job done. She is dedicated to demystifying cooking and making ingredients accessible to novice home cooks and serious foodies alike.

Quaale is also passionate about encouraging her customers to eat locally produced food, shop locally and cook globally. The relationships she has established with local fishmongers, butchers, farmers, vintners and restaurateurs are tantamount to her success. Food is how people relate and Quaale wants people to get back to the family table, break bread and spend time over a great meal the way she did growing up.

Source: BCLocalNews

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